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AP, News Nets Take On Minneapolis Polling Law

AP joins ABC, Fox, CBS, CNN, NBC to challenge Minneapolis law that limits access to polling places. 9/30/2008 08:55:00 AM Eastern

According to AP, it joined with the major news networks to challenge a Minneapolis law that limits access to polling places. Obviously, the news organizations need a swift decision.

They argued that the law -- which prevents anyone from polling officials and voters within 100 feet of a polling place -- affects their ability to conduct exit polling. That, they added, impinges on their First Amendment rights to report on the political process, pointing out that people often disperse quickly after casting their ballots and that the restriction makes it tougher to get to them.

AP and the same news networks -- ABC, Fox News Channel, CBS, CNN, NBC -- filed a similar suit in South Dakota in May in advance of a primary there. In that case, the state agreed to a permanent injunction against enforcing the law, which means the nets got to do their polling.

Those networks together comprise the National Election Pool, a consortium they formed to provide vote counts and election analysis.

According to Susan Buckley, attorney for NEP, there have been 11 similar suits filed over the years, with news outlets so far going a perfect 11 for 11.

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